DIY Tobacco Basket

8 Materials
3 Hours
With inspiration from Country Living Magazine and the know how from a blog found on Pinterest I decided to take matter into my own hands and make this decorate tobacco basket for the space above my fireplace!
I have long admired the vintage tobacco baskets I have seen around blogland! I have seen a few at some antique markets but I just couldn't justify the upwards of $100 price tag. When my Country Living magazine arrived over the holidays and saw one on the cover it reminded how much I love the look. Having pinned a tutorial a couple of months ago I decided to finally check it out to see what was involved.
I skimmed over the instructions and headed for the home improvement store. I picked up a roll of birch veneer and already had the stain & all the other supplies to complete the project at home.
I cut the birch veneer into 2" wide strips and then cut 6 strips to 24" long and 11 at 36" long.

I stained them, both sides of course, and left the stain on for about 5 minutes before wiping off the excess with an old rag.
I wanted an oblong basket instead of square, so I laid 5 of the 36" strips horizontally on my table, and then using a simple over/under technique I wove the 6 24" strips in vertically.
I straightened it all out to ensure the weave was even, but not perfect, and then secured the ends of each vertical row to the horizontal row with a standard staple.
I set aside 2 of the long strips before using the rest to form the edge of the basket, stapling as I went along. I was okay with the cracking and splitting of the veneer in a few spots because I think it just ads to the vintage feel.
The last step was to add the remaining 2 strips across in an X pattern. It helped to stabilize the basket a bit and looks great too! I love how it fills the space above the fireplace and can't wait to style the mantel around it through the seasons.
You can see the full list of supplies and a few other tips on the blog!
Red Cottage Chronicles
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 4 questions
  • Ethyl Ethyl on Mar 03, 2016
    Where did you find your roll of birch veneer?

  • Sarah Sarah on Mar 19, 2016
    Could you use this veneer to put bottoms in the old antique kitchen chairs?

  • Suzan Druck Suzan Druck on Apr 01, 2016
    Where did you find your product?

Join the conversation
2 of 83 comments
  • Brenda Brenda on Sep 15, 2018

    Very clever! Really beautiful and you would never know it isn’t a vintage basket! Great Job!!!!!!!!

  • Leslie Johnson Leslie Johnson on Oct 14, 2018

    I’m native. We use (inner) cedar bark

    to make our baskets. We soak the cedar to make it pliable while weaving. I’m wondering if this could have been done with the birch veneer? Of course you’d have to stain it after it’s completed rather than before.